Diagnosis of dyspepsia indigestion starts by assessing symptoms, physical examination, x-ray, endoscopy, and testing blood, breath, or stool.
How is your doctor diagnosing indigestion?
When you are experiencing indigestion symptoms, consult your doctor to rule out any serious condition. Because indigestion is a broad term, thus you should help your doctor by providing precise description of the discomfort you are experiencing.
Based on the symptoms your doctor must rule out underlying conditions. Your doctor begins diagnosis by physical examination, x-ray of stomach & small intestine, tests (such as blood, breath, or stool), and/or upper endoscopy.
- Upper endoscopy is a long, thin tube that has a light and small camera at the end. This tube is inserting into your stomach through the mouth. This is useful to inspect the esophagus, stomach and upper part of the small intestine (duodenum). Biopsy (a tissue sample) may take using this test. Endoscopy can diagnose GERD, peptic ulcers and gastric cancer.
- Gastrointestinal transit study is a test to measures how food moves through your digestive tract. Your doctor generally uses a four-hour solid study of the stomach to obtain the most precise results.
- Gastric accommodation test is to measures how much volume your stomach can expand after a meal.
- Gastro duodenal manometer is a test to diagnose the muscles and nerves involved in digestion. Use this test, if you have severe weight loss or very abnormal movement of food through your digestive tract. This test lasts for five to six hours, to obtain the most accurate results.
- Tests for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a stomach bacteria test associated with peptic ulcers. H. pylori can also cause a non-ulcer chronic indigestion. Your doctor analyzes your breath (urea breath test) and stool (stool antigen test) to assess whether you have infected with H. pylori.
Since indigestion is a sign of a more serious condition, you should see a doctor immediately if you are experiencing:
- frequent vomiting
- blood in vomit
- weight loss or appetite loss
- black stools
- difficult or painful swallowing
- abdominal pain in a non-epigastria area
- indigestion along with shortness of breath, sweating, or pain radiates to the jaw, neck, or arm
- symptoms that continue for more than two weeks